MEDFORD - Six Tufts University football players are on the 2021 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Conference team announced today.
Junior wide receiver Phil Lutz (pictured) and freshman return man Aundre Smith were first team selections. Senior linebacker Matty Drouillard, senior defensive end Jovan Nenadovic, junior running back Tyler Johnson and junior center Blair Horning are on the second team.
Nenadovic repeats as All-Conference including a first-team nod in 2019. It's the first All-Conference recognition for the other five Jumbos.
Lutz had the best receiving season in Tufts history with 74 receptions for 1,047 yards, both school records and league-leading numbers. He averaged 8.2 receptions and 116.3 yards per game - both NCAA Division III top 10 marks - including 17 catches for 182 yards against Colby and nine for 194 versus Wesleyan. He scored a 61-yard touchdown against the Cardinals, one of four he had on the season.
Smith took over the returns role in week four and emerged as the league's best. He led NESCAC with both a 21.4-yard average on kickoff returns and a 13.4-yard average on punt returns. He had longs of 46 yards in both categories. He also had punt returns of 38 and 27 yards during the season.
Johnson and Horning were important parts of a Tufts offense that led the conference with 427.7 yards per game and scored 26.4 points per contest, despite three different starting quarterbacks due to injuries. Tufts was a top 40 team nationally on third down defensively (43.1 percent), with Nenadovic and Drouillard playing lead roles there.
With 11 touchdowns (10 rushing), Johnson was fourth in NESCAC scoring 66 points. He rushed for seven touchdowns during Tufts' four-game winning streak to end the season. Johnson averaged four yards per rush with 573 total yards on 142 carries. He was also effective in the pass game with 33 catches - third most on the team - for 229 yards.
Horning got the ball rolling for a Jumbo offense that was not only productive, but efficient. Four times Tufts topped 450 yards of total offense in a game, including 521 against Wesleyan and 495 versus Hamilton. Horning also helped provide protection for an offense that turned the ball over just seven times, including just two interceptions which is tied for the NCAA lead.
Drouillard was seventh in NESCAC with 59 tackles this fall (38 solo) and led the Jumbos with four sacks for 30 yards in losses and 12 tackles for losses (TFL) totaling 46 yards. He had a pair of sacks and four TFL's among nine tackles at Hamilton and then made 12 tackles in a season-ending victory at Middlebury.
Nenadovic, a D3football Preseason All-American, got every offense's top attention and still produced. He recorded 39 tackles including 3.5 sacks for 28 yards lost and six TFLs totaling 33 lost yards. He finished with two sacks at Trinity College and had one of Tufts' four blocked kicks this season in the Bates game.
The Jumbos were fifth in NESCAC with a 4-5 final record.